Queensland is to close 23 of its government-owned Driver Reviver sites in 2023 due to the cost of repairs outweighing the benefits.
Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) regional director Adam Ainsworth says all sites are being shuttered following a safety assessment last year.
“TMR made that difficult decision to close those sites because of the investment that was required to keep that network operating,” Ainsworth said.
“The volunteer cohort we know is ageing and we needed to take into consideration the accessibility of each of the sites and how easy it is for them to access and maintain.
“That assessment found a lot of the buildings required extensive renovations and were no longer safe for travellers or volunteers.”
Although not always set up for truck parking, our columnist Alf Wilson says he knew of many truckies who used Driver Reviver sites when they could.
Ainsworth told ABC News that some of the sites, including the Gin Gin stop on the Bruce Highway near Bundaberg, would close as early as January 2.
He confirmed all other TMR-owned sites would close next year, but exact dates were yet to be decided.
“We’re working with the volunteers and local community groups and we’re trying to look at other sustainable options for volunteers to operate the Driver Reviver program,” he said.
“But the continuation of this program throughout the holidays won’t be happening at the TMR-located rest areas.”
Coordinator for Gladfield Driver Reviver John Newley told Warwick Today that more than 35 disgruntled volunteers attended a recent meeting in Warwick about the closures.
“They were unanimously upset with the closure and couldn’t understand why the Minister [Mark Bailey] would want to do this,” said Newley.
“These rest areas are available for drivers to stop and recover. It’s all about road safety.”